Weaver says early exit in D-backs loss to Nationals was ‘precautionary’
PHOENIX – After losing starting pitcher Luke Weaver early to right shoulder discomfort in the midst of what was shaping up to be another quality outing at Chase Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ offense couldn’t get on the board in a 3-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
“We kept waiting for that big push offensively,” said manager Torey Lovullo. “We had a couple of moments where we were scratching and making some noise, but we couldn’t really combine things and keep adding on or having multiple base runners in innings like we’ve been accustomed to.”
The D-backs were only able to muster up four hits and a pair of walks at the plate, with the most notable piece of offense being a leadoff double by Stephen Vogt in the second.
Weaver came into the game with a 2-0 record in three home starts this season with a 1.57 ERA. Two of his starts over that span were shutouts.
The 27-year-old right-hander looked dominant early, coasting through his first six batters faced. He got into a bases-loaded jam in the third but escaped unscathed.
He then put up one more spotless inning – his third of the day – before exiting the game.
Weaver said he feels “good” and that the early exit was “precautionary.”
“I made a decision personally where that inning just didn’t seem to line up mechanically in the way my arm was feeling,” Weaver said.
“In that last inning, it felt like the velo dropped a tick, and it wasn’t anything as far as pain or any of that such a thing. But clearly just synching up the body and being able to throw with conviction and throw with velo.”
“Like I said, I feel good now. I think it was just a precautionary, the way our team has been hurting a little bit. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t a part of that and I made the right decision.”
In four innings, Weaver allowed just one hit and no runs with three strikeouts and two walks in 68 pitches.
Weaver will have an MRI on Monday but he said feels confident he will be able to make his next start and avoid the injured list.
“I feel pretty confident to be honest, knowing my body. But I’m not the expert when it comes to the human anatomy, and we’ll make sure tomorrow when I get the imaging done, it will be precautionary and just to double-check things,” he said.
“But everything felt strong and all the testing went really well.”
The bullpen got through the next three innings clean as Alex Young and Joakim Soria combined to give up two hits and no runs.
The game was scoreless until Washington pinch hitter Yadiel Hernandez took reliever Stefan Crichton deep for a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning. The Nationals tacked on two more to give themselves a comfortable lead before completing the shutout of the D-backs.
Arizona lost the game, lost the series and may have lost yet another player to injury.
“I wake up each morning thinking today is going to be a healthy, clean day, and there’s a little surprise waiting for us at the end of the game,” said Lovullo on the string of injuries his team has had to contend with. “That’s just the nature of the beast and that happens.”
“I’ve said this several times: We’re going to get our hands up in the middle of the ring, and we’re going to duke it out. That’s all we know how to do.”
The D-backs are already without starting pitchers Zac Gallen and Taylor Widener, and they currently have 10 players from the big-league club on the injured list.
Madison Bumgarner is next up on the mound for the D-backs as they travel to Los Angeles to take on their division rival Dodgers on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Bumgarner has made quite the turnaround in his last five starts, going 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 0.47 WHIP in 30.0 innings pitched. Per Stats Perform, his .047 WHIP over that span is the lowest WHIP over five starts since Pete Alexander’s 0.42 WHIP over five starts in 1915.